Federal safety investigators continue to investigate complaints about spontaneous fires in Kia and Hyundai engines on vehicles not involved in collisions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that it is currently investigating 618,000 Kia vehicles for engine failure issues, many of which were reported to NHTSA as having resulted in non-collision fires.
So far the NHTSA confirmed that it has 402 fire complaints to Kia on this issue including some with and some without collisions.
Some of the fiery incidents were caught on video. In October 2017, a Texas driver reported their vehicle went up in flames while she was driving down the freeway. She reported that another motorist flagged her down to tell them their 2014 Kia Soul was on fire with flames underneath the vehicle. She pulled over and ran away from the car just moments before it exploded. The woman told NBC News that her vehicle had been taken to the dealership just the week before this happened after a pink light came on near her radio and she herd an irregular noise. The Kia was in the shop for five days. They gave her back the car and told her to drive it and see what happens.
Also, the NHTSA received a complaint a few years ago from the owner of a 2012 Hyundai Sonata in Matthews, N.C. The person was walking back to his parked car and found it engulfed in flames — destroying the engine wiring harness, front bumper, intake manifold, and all the plastic fluid containers. The cause was attributed to an electrical short in the wiring harness. It reportedly traveled throughout the engine compartment and ignited a pile of leaves underneath the car.
Center for Auto Safety (CAS) says it too has received about 120 complaints about fires in these vehicles without involving a collision. Besides the fire complaints, there were also 229 separate complaints to CAS regarding melted wires in the engine bays, smoke, or burning odors indicating potential fires.
There are four models that are experiencing these fires and they were made in the 2011 to 2014 model years: the Kia Optima sedan and Sorento SUV, and the Hyundai Sonata sedan and Santa Fe SUV.
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Motorists who are grappling with ongoing problems with their Kia Optima, Kia Sorento SUV, Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe SUV or any other vehicle, could be eligible for compensation under California and or Federal Lemon Laws.
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